Need some inspiration for dinners around the camp? Here are a dozen easy, kid-pleasing ideas.
1. Foil Packets. These are great for the first night of camping because you can do the prep work at home. Just choose a meat (chicken or steak work well), cut into strips, and store in your cooler. Then slice some vegetables (summer squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, onions etc.) When youíre ready to cook, give each child a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and let them customize a packet to suit their taste. Add a pat of butter and spices, fold up the edges tightly, then cook on your fire grate or camp stove.
2. Hot Dogs. The perennial kid favorite can be cooked on a stick over the open fire or on a camp stove. For something different, try making ďpigs in a blanketĒ; wrap a skewered hotdog with a refrigerated biscuit (like Pillsbury) and cook over the fire.
3. Pasta and sauce. This meal is great for the end of your trip because itís easy and needs no refrigeration if you use dry pasta and canned spaghetti sauce. Serve with buttered toast sprinkled with garlic powder and a wedge of cheese.
4. Burgers. Pre-made burgers are easy and hold up well when cooked on a cooking grate or camp stove. Veggie burgers are a nice alternative.
5. BLTís. To make this meal even easier, wash the lettuce at home and store the leaves in a Ziploc bag between paper towels to keep them crisp in your cooler. Any extra bacon can be used for breakfast the next morning.
6. Grilled sandwiches. Get a pie iron or two, depending on how many sandwiches you need. A pie iron is a metal contraption that you fill with two slices of bread and a filling before cooking over the fire. Try mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, pepperoni and pizza sauce, tuna melts, or grilled cheese and tomato.
7. Breakfast for dinner. If you donít have the energy to make a fancy breakfast in the morning, do it for dinner. Scramble up a big bowl of eggs (add mushrooms or hashbrowns if you like) and serve with bread toasted over the fire. Or create a batch of pancake mix at home and have pancakes with maple syrup.
8. Macaroni and cheese. To give this classic dish a boost, add half a bag of frozen vegetables in to cook with the macaroni. When itís done, stir in a can of tuna or chicken for added protein.
9. Cheese and crackers. For a no-cook dinner, serve cheese slices with a variety of crackers, plus pepperoni or smoked sausage. Add some fruit and youíve got a meal thatís easy to prepare and clean up.
10. Baked potatoes. Just wrap potatoes in heavy duty foil and cook until done over hot coals (start early, it takes awhile). Serve with butter and seasonings. These go great with a vegetable foil packet.
11. Vegetable kabobs. Skewer vegetables (small potatoes, cherry tomatoes, sliced zucchini, mushrooms, etc.) and cook over the fire. Serve with instant rice or in a pita pocket with a drizzle of olive oil or salad dressing.
12. Order out pizza. Maybe itís cheating, but some of the best camp dinners weíve had involved pizza picked up from a local place with a nice big salad on the side. If you order extra, you can have pizza for breakfast or lunch the next day.